When you go in to see your doctor, you likely have specific issues that you hope to discuss. Whether you have infrequent but unusual symptoms or you read something that made you question the combination of prescription medications you currently take, you want to make sure that you effectively communicate with your doctor.
In many cases, your doctor will only have a few minutes to spend with you. Hoping that you will remember something under pressure and in the social situation with your physician might mean that you fail to provide information that could assist your physician with diagnosing you.
Well before you have an appointment scheduled, you might want to start making a list of questions to ask your physician and symptoms that you experienced so that you don’t forget them.
Having a list makes it easier to prioritize your discussion
Obviously, the potential for an interaction between a supplement you take and medication your physician prescribed is far more concerning than mildly irritating toenail fungus. Creating a list of concerns, questions and symptoms will allow you to prioritize what information you provide to your physician and what questions to ask. That way, you aren’t focused on something minor while overlooking something that could have long-term health implications.
Keeping your notes and lists can protect you from inadequate medical records
Imagine that you went to see your doctor and gave them a comprehensive explanation of your symptoms, only to have them fixate on one symptom in particular and improperly diagnose you. When you later receive a correct diagnosis, the condition may have progressed substantially. It’s also possible that you may have had negative responses to the treatment you received because of the inaccurate diagnosis.
With physicians often too rushed to manage all of the details in their own notes, having your own documentation that shows you asked your doctor about specific symptoms can support you if you need to bring a medical malpractice claim against a physician who fails to diagnose you.